Saturday, June 23, 2012

Festiva in the Park: Day 15 homeward bound

FRIDAY JUNE 15th, 2012

Day 15 is the last leg of our "Festiva in the Park" road trip.

Encountered the only glitch with the car on yesterdays drive... we must have lost a wheel weight somewhere along the way because we developed a really bad vibration at highway speeds. This morning I found a tire shop only a block or so from the hotel, had both front wheels rebalanced and was back in time for breakfast. I was quite impressed with the service I got at the tire shop... thank you Tire-Rama on Cedar Street in Helena!!

We left Helena after a hearty breakfast and made our way north with Great Falls in our sights.

Between Helena and Great Falls MT

Once in Great Falls we made our way to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. We were pleasantly surprised when we discovered that our annual National Parks Pass was valid for admission! Learned a lot about Great Falls and the hardships the Lewis and Clark expedition faced in the area. When they arrived here in 1805 the five falls presented a massive barrier. The portage took almost a month instead of the day or two they planned and took them about 18 miles overland lugging ALL their equipment supplies and boats with them.

No caption needed!

E signing the guest book.

I grabbing the bull by the horns.....

One of many informative plaques...

Sharon and me in Great Falls, smiling on the banks of the Missouri River.

Three of the five falls now have dams over them, a fourth one has disappeared behind one of those dams and the only remaining falls visible is not really so great. We really enjoyed our time here but we are all ready to head home. We made a stop in Shelby MT to pick up some lunch and 24 cans of Cherry Coke to take home with us. This part of the trip is a repeat of last falls "Festiva Madness" trip but without the rain. Our border crossing was uneventful and it didn't take long to readjust to the metric road signs.

Bluer skies that we experienced last fall.

At the border

Almost home.....

Thank you Mr. Horton.... we missed you.

We did have one stop we wanted to make before we got home... thank you Garmin GPS to directing us to the first Tim Horton's we'd seen in two weeks!!!

Skyline of the City of Calgary

Welcome home!

Got into Calgary at the tail end of rush hour and pulled up to home-sweet-home at around 7:15.

Here's some info for the statistically minded:

5 people and their luggage
15 days
9 states and 2 provinces

Total tolls paid: $11.00 ($6.00 Golden Gate Bridge plus $5.00 Richmond-San Rafael Bridge)
Average hotel per night: $92.00
Distance traveled: 8397 km / 5218 miles
Lowest elevation: 22m / 72 feet below sea level in the George Massey Tunnel
Highest elevation: 3030m / 9941 feet at Tioga Pass coming out of Yosemite
Fuel consumed: 533.1 liters / 140.83 US gallons
Consumption rate: 6.35 liters per 100km / 37.1 miles per US gallon.
Most expensive gas: $1.434 per liter / $5.428 per US gallon in Vancouver BC
Least expensive gas: $0.938 per liter / $3.549 per US gallon in Flagstaff AZ
Total fuel costs: $604.45
Average gas price: $1.134 per liter / $4.293 per US gallon

One of the many things we discussed is what's next?  I think we've narrowed it down to another trip east across Canada to Prince Edward Island, down through New York and home across Minnesota or head south through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. But that's not til next year. In the meanwhile, watch this space for some shorter trips and more about the cars of the Econobox Cafe era.

Thanks for joining us on this trip. We have been blessed with many experiences in many awesome parts of God's creation!

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